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  • Rob Swift

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Whether he's droppin' beats hard and strong or rockin' a salsoul beat with jazz master Bob James, turntable composer Rob Swift is all killa and no filla on the decks. A dedicated artist, a turntable maverick and the ablist DJ to come along since the form's mixmaster pioneers, it's Swift's destiny to be a major deal on the wheels of steel.

Born in 1972 and raised in Jackson Heights, Queens, Swift initially learned to rock the house with some hands-on help from his DJ dad and older brother. By 1991 he turned pro musician when he joined the world-class crew of turntablists, the X-ecutioners. In 1992, he was named DMC East Coast turntable champion. In 1993, he began producing and remixing tracks for other artists: Cornershop, Lords of Acid and the Altered Beats album for Bill Laswell's Axiom label are among his growing list of credits.
In 1999, Rob dropped his first solo album, The Ablist (Asphodel). SPIN called his two-Technics technique "mind-boggling," comparing it to "Wizardy." VIBE called it a "brilliant debut." In 2001, Swift added his scratches and a track called "My Name is Rob Swift" to Herbie Hancock's Future 2 Future album. He contributed "Blues for Bob and Rob" with Bob James to the compilation Turntable Essence (Silva Screen Records).

When it was time for Rob to record his second solo album, Sound Event, (Table Turns, fall 2002) it was only natural he call in his friend James for a cut. The pair cooked-up "Salsa Scratch." In 2002 Swift performed at the World Economic Forum in New York with Herbie Hancock and Chaka Khan. The X-ecutioners' 2002 release, Built From Scratch (Loud/SONY) got the nod from VIBE: "Rocking and rock solid." Paper calls the crew "Virtuoso." Swift also continues to score hi-tech games and television projects and was chosen to be part of the Gap's vanguard artist ad campaign. He has also been featured on avant-garde performance troupe, Blue Man Group's album.

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